'Luke Cage' Star Mike Colter Apologizes for Sarcastic Comments About Bishop Touching Ariana Grande at Aretha Franklin Funeral

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Ariana Grande speaks with Bishop Charles Ellis III after performing at the funeral for Aretha Franklin at the Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit.

"In no way do I condone such behavior."

Mike Colter, the star on the Netflix show Luke Cage, has apologized for a tweet in which he appeared to glorify footage of Bishop Charles H. Ellis III inappropriately touching Ariana Grande following her performance at Aretha Franklin‘s funeral on Friday (Aug. 31).

Colter, who plays the lead role in the Marvel series, joked about the situation in a sarcastic tweet that has now been deleted, according to Deadline. “Now THIS is how you shoot your shot! Zero F***!’” Colter reportedly tweeted on Saturday (Sept. 1) in reply to The Daily Show's host Trevor Noah, who called attention to the Bishop’s behavior. 

Colter’s tweet also included a series of laughing emojis and in a matter of minutes, the actor received severe criticism on social media with fans accusing him of gloryfing sexual assault and even calling for his firing from the Netflix series.

Although on Sunday (Sept. 2) Colter apologized for the tweet, the actor later also deleted his apology. 

“Hello all. I apologize about my tweet earlier,” he reportedly wrote. “In no way do I condone any such behavior. It was intended to point out the absurdity of the act itself. Complete and biting sarcasm. I realized quickly that it was not taken as such.” In an attempt to explain why it had taken him so long to issue an apology, the actor also added, “I was at an event all day. Sorry for the delay.”

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III has also apologized for his behavior towards the 25-year-old singer during the service after a number of people said the manner in which he pulled Grande in and appeared to touch her breast was not appropriate.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast,” Ellis told the Associated Press. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”

 

Ellis also expressed regret on joking that he initially thought the 25-year-old singer was a new menu item at Taco Bell. “I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” he added. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”

Colter also responded to criticism from a twitter user who called him out for his original comment. "Time to read the room," she wrote. "In the time of Times Up/Metoo the treatment of women is not for jokes, sarcasm, comedy or any of the above. No one on the internet can tell if you're being sarcastic or not. Make that clear, or say nothing. Don't be sorry, be careful next time."

The actor wrote, "I would like to say in the future if there's ever a moment where you feel the need to take me to task. Please feel free to reach out to me directly. I'm more than willing to clarify anything you deem offensive. Give me the benefit of the doubt as I would you or anyone."